The Best Time to Go on Safari in Tanzania

The Best Time to Go on Safari in Tanzania

If you’re planning a safari in Tanzania, finding the best time to go on a safari in Tanzania is crucial to ensure the best wildlife viewing experience. Tanzania offers a variety of safari options, but the Northern Circuit stands out as the top choice for big-game safaris. With its incredible parks and exceptional wildlife, the Northern Circuit is a must-visit destination for safari enthusiasts.

The Parks of the Northern Circuit

The Northern Circuit is home to several renowned game parks, each offering a unique safari experience. The four main parks in the region are:

  1. Serengeti National Park
  2. Ngorongoro Conservation Area (including Ngorongoro Crater)
  3. Tarangire National Park
  4. Lake Manyara National Park

These parks are known for their diverse landscapes, abundant wildlife, and stunning natural beauty. Exploring these parks will give you the opportunity to witness the incredible biodiversity that Tanzania has to offer.

Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park is undoubtedly the star of the Northern Circuit. It is famous for its vast savannahs, which serve as the backdrop for the Great Wildlife Migration. This annual migration sees millions of wildebeest, zebras, and other herbivores travel across the Serengeti in search of fresh grazing grounds. Witnessing this spectacle is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that shouldn’t be missed.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to the iconic Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The crater is a natural wonder, often referred to as the “Garden of Eden” due to its lush vegetation and high concentration of wildlife. Descending into the crater is like stepping into a wildlife paradise, where you can encounter the Big Five (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, and rhino) in their natural habitat.

Animals fetching water at the Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Animals fetching water at the Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park is known for its diverse landscapes, ranging from grassy savannahs to dense woodlands. The park is famous for its large elephant herds, which congregate along the Tarangire River during the dry season. This is also the best time to spot other wildlife, as animals gather around the water sources. Tarangire offers a quieter safari experience compared to the more popular parks, making it perfect for those seeking tranquility.

Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park is a hidden gem of the Northern Circuit. The park is famous for its tree-climbing lions and stunning birdlife. Exploring the park’s diverse ecosystems, including lush forests, open grasslands, and the beautiful lake itself, is a unique experience. Lake Manyara offers a more intimate and off-the-beaten-path safari, away from the crowds.

The Best Time of Year to Go on Safari in Tanzania Northern Circuit

Tanzania’s Northern Circuit has a subtropical climate, with distinct wet and dry seasons. Each season offers a different safari experience, so choosing the best time to visit depends on your preferences and what you hope to see.

January to mid-March: Short Dry Season

The short dry season is best time to go on a safari in Tanzania Northern Circuit, as the rains have subsided, and game drives are more comfortable. The days can be hot, but this season offers birdwatching opportunities, with many migratory birds in the parks. It’s also the time when antelopes and zebras give birth, making it an exciting period for wildlife enthusiasts. This season is popular among visitors, so expect moderate crowds.

Mid-March to May: Long Wet Season

The long wet season is the quietest period in the Northern Circuit, as the rains set in. While the weather can be wet, it also brings lush landscapes and vibrant flowers. The parks are less crowded during this time, and if you’re lucky to have a rain-free day, you’ll have the parks almost to yourself. However, note that some areas may become impassable due to heavy rainfall.

June to mid-October: Long Dry Season

The long dry season is the most popular and the best time to go safari in Tanzania Northern Circuit. The weather is dry and not too hot, creating pleasant game drive conditions. Vegetation dries up, and the shorter grass makes it easier to spot wildlife. This season offers the best wildlife viewing, with a higher concentration of animals. It’s also the time when the Great Migration river crossings occur, a breathtaking spectacle. However, this is the peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds.

Mid-October to December: Short Wet Season

Late October to December marks the short wet season in the Northern Circuit. The landscape becomes greener, and there’s an influx of migratory birds. The parks are less crowded during this period, making it a quieter safari experience. However, heavy rains can occur, especially in November, which may affect game drives in certain areas. Despite the rain, this season is the best time to go to Tanzania on safari as it provides unique opportunities to witness the beauty of the parks in a different light.

Choosing the Best Time to Go to Tanzania for Safari

When deciding the best time for your safari in Tanzania, consider what you most want to see and experience. Each month in the Northern Circuit offers something special, whether it’s the Great Migration, the calving season, or specific wildlife behaviors.

For instance, January is the start of the calving season, with thousands of baby animals being born. February is in the heart of the birthing season, with adorable spindly-legged animals taking their first steps. March offers good game spotting conditions and the chance to witness predator action. April showcases beautiful landscapes and an abundance of flowering plants. May provides quiet and peaceful safaris, with lush vegetation and fewer visitors.

June to October is the peak wildlife season, with excellent game spotting opportunities. July is also the best time to go to Tanzania safari as it offers the possibility of witnessing the Great Migration river crossings. August provides pleasant weather and the chance to see large herds around water sources. September is ideal for game spotting, as animals congregate around water sources. October offers the best wildlife viewing before the short rains arrive. November provides a unique safari experience with fresh vegetation and fewer crowds. December is a quieter period with excellent birdwatching opportunities.

In summary, Tanzania safari best time to go choice depends on your preferences and what you hope to see. Whether it’s the Great Migration, the calving season, or simply enjoying the stunning landscapes and wildlife, Tanzania’s Northern Circuit offers incredible safari experiences year-round. Plan your trip accordingly, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in the heart of Africa.

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